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Mesa Threading Support Is Slow, Still Being Developed

Mesa

Published on 07 February 2013 03:47 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa
3 Comments

One of the ways that Intel has been trying to make their Mesa driver faster is through proper threading support, but for now the support is unfortunately slower while the code is still being actively developed.

In addition to David Airlie's talk about RandR 1.4 / PRIME and Daniel Stone on the real story behind Wayland and X, another interesting Linux graphics related talk at last week's Linux.Conf.Au was by Intel's Eric Anholt. Eric talked about the ongoing work by Intel's open-source team to better optimize their Mesa DRI driver for running Valve's Linux titles and other games.

Most of Eric's presentation is the same as what he talked about last summer for Intel Linux gaming and Mesa. He did provide though an update on threading support for Mesa.

The planned threading support comes down to having an extra layer between the game/application and the actual OpenGL implementation for offloading the GL calls into a batch-buffer that are then handled by a separate CPU thread. This has been one of the feature requests made by Valve's Linux developers. Last year NVIDIA made Linux OpenGL threaded optimizations too as part of the Valve Linux gaming push.

Mesa Threading Support Is Slow, Still Being Developed

While code has been written for Mesa, right now it's "not fast enough yet" according to Anholt. For those wanting to see the latest work being done for the Mesa threading support, the latest branch was made in January in glthread-3.

Those wanting to watch the entire LCA 2013 presentation by Intel's Eric Anholt can find it at linux.org.au (Ogg Video).

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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